The Blood Libel About Fannie Mae

So, the new completely unhinged right-wing talking point that defies all measures of reality (that’s a feature, not a bug) is that the Democrats making Freddie and Fannie make mortgages to black people is the reason for the economic collapse.

We’re so far past What’s the Matter With Kansas—we’re simply to the point now where there is a reptilian-brain urge going on in the minds of American conservatives, that, I think is a manifestation of the collapse and failure of their movement. Like HAL-9000, they have conflicting orders and violence is the result. They know they are wrong but they know that they are not wrong—can’t be wrong. They’re so used to winning yet acting like they are oppressed that they simply can’t process losing and being the oppressor.

I just wonder what the fallout from this sub-mental short circuit of the conservative brain will mean. It does make me a bit afraid, honestly.

Personal.

Politics for me are mostly philosophical. My life is privileged and untouched by the concerns of most people for many reasons: the benign place where I live, the color of my skin, my profession, my education level, and my gender, and my heterosexuality.

As much as I would like to say otherwise, and as much time and effort as I put into it, the environment doesn’t keep me awake at night. It concerns me deeply, but I don’t stare at my clock wondering what I’m going to do about it, because I know that other than advocate, vote, and give time, and alter my practices, there’s really not much I can do.

But this mortgage situation. It does cause me to lose sleep. I make a ton of money, yet I’m paying too much of it into a house that isn’t worth what it was when I bought it, and I might lose it anyway. It’s emasculating, humiliating, and frustrating. I’ve played the game. I got the education, got the job, did what you’re supposed to do, but I’m not going to get rewarded for my mistakes. I’m going to get punished.

I’m going to possibly lose my house, not be able to afford children, or go on a vacation for a long long time. I’d love a bailout. I’d even love a bankruptcy that I could qualify for. But I’m not asking for one. I’m just saying that people who screwed everyone else and are still sitting on the deck at their house in the Hamptons—they shouldn’t be rewarded. That’s all.

The bailout should be paid for by a spike in capital gains and marginal tax rates. 50% of all income over $500k 2008 dollars, including capital gains. You don’t need more money than that to live, so fuck you.

Deal? Ha.

Five days ago:

This Congress has no record of showing any backbone. The media has already bought the notion that there must be a bailout, and will criticize the Dems for “playing politics” with this and they will buckle not only losing the fight but again looking weak.

No Deal? Haha. They’ll give them everything they want.

So, Bush’s threats of an economic 9/11 once again scared the Dems into capitulation. According to the news, there’s “oversight” in the bill and curbs on executive pay.

But apparently, there’s absolutely nothing in there for you and me. No repeal of the draconian bankruptcy reforms of 2005, no mortgage cram-down provision, nothing.

I guess I’m glad there’s “oversight” in the bill, but with a Congress like this, it might as well not be there anyway.

I agree that this is just an attempt to run out the clock before we get more bad news. This kind of bailout didn’t work for Hoover in 1931, and did not work for the Japanese in the 90s. So, the Republicans made this up so that if the Dems said no, the fallout would be their fault; if they say yes, things might calm down enough for McCain to win.

We’ve been had.

2 years of capitulation are all for naught if Obama doesn’t win.

No Deal? Yeah Right

Josh Marshall and Paul Krugman (Update: and Brad DeLong) say no deal on the bailout. Josh points out that the lobbyists are already pushing for no strings attached.

This Congress has no record of showing any backbone. The media has already bought the notion that there must be a bailout, and will criticize the Dems for “playing politics” with this and they will buckle not only losing the fight but again looking weak.

No Deal? Haha. They’ll give them everything they want.

They start asking…

…about why they aren’t just bailing out the homeowners.

A kind of post-cynical answer is, the homeowners are subject to shame and have no concerted power in Washington, whereas the banks have no shame and have almost all the power.

If Congress is just going to swallow this and ask for nothing in return—one TRILLION—they suck. At least a repeal of the bankruptcy laws to let people get a fresh start after being irresponsible peon idiots with their mortgages. You know, a “restructuring.” Works for the irresponsible patrician idiots at the banks.